Officials from New Mexico are joining others in expressing grief and trying to make sense of a week that has seen the killings by police of two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota and the slaughter of several police officers in Dallas.
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., sent condolences to the families of the officers who were shot and killed in Dallas on Thursday “while protecting people who were peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights.”
“I have profound appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line for the safety of our communities each and every day,” Udall said. “The entire law enforcement community is grieving over the senseless violence that claimed lives last night, and I thank them for their service.”
Udall called the killing of police “monstrous and horrifying.” And, referring to the police shootings earlier in the week of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., he said he also shares “the real concerns of people in New Mexico and throughout the country about systemic discrimination by law enforcement and violence in our communities.”
“We’ve seen too many days and nights of violence — too much of which appears to have been driven by distrust, fear or hatred,” Udall said. “We must come together to confront the issues that are dividing us and work together to heal.”
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., echoed Udall’s words.
“In the wake of these deaths in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas we as a country must come together to heal, recognizing the pain that such violence is taking on our communities, and stand united in our commitment to addressing the causes that are at the very root of these tragic shootings,” Luján said. “My thoughts and prayers are with these communities, the victims of this heartbreaking violence, and the families who have lost loved ones.”
Gov. Susana Martinez, a former prosecutor, wrote on Facebook that she is “heartbroken by the violence and bloodshed in Dallas.”
“As the wife and daughter of police officers, I know just how brave and committed our law enforcement officers are,” Martinez wrote. “When others run from danger, they run straight toward it to protect us.”
Martinez said she called Texas Gov. Greg Abbott “to express my condolences and told him that New Mexicans are praying for the officers in Dallas, their families, and law enforcement around the country.”
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., wrote on Facebook that he is “stunned and heartbroken by the killing of law enforcement officers in Dallas, and by the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.”
“The loss felt by the victims’ loved ones is unimaginable,” Heinrich said. “I join the communities in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, and throughout the entire nation in denouncing violence and keeping all those who have been impacted by these tragedies in our thoughts.”
On Twitter, U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., expressed her grief.
“This violence is too much to take,” she wrote. “When will it stop?”
And U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., expressed his “thoughts and prayers” on Twitter for the officers who were killed in Dallas.
President Barack Obama has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff through July 12 in honor of the police officers killed in the line of duty in Dallas.